IA Coursework & Careers

IA Student Working

As an Interior Architecture major, you’ll learn how to blend art and social sciences (how people interact their environment, the history of design) with physical sciences (the effects of materials on the physical health, the comfort of inhabitants). SoHE students work with our experienced faculty on real-world projects, from the basics of a chair to full house remodels and commercial revamps.

Coursework includes sketching, rendering, computer drafting and design, 3D modeling, art and art history, history of interiors, business, and engineering. Real-world experience is enhanced through internships. Plus, you’ll graduate prepared to sit for the prestigious NCIDQ exam and armed with an impressive and professional work portfolio. For coursework details, contact your academic advisor or reference the UW-Madison Undergraduate Catalog.

Graduates of our IA program have found employment at large, internationally recognized design companies, including Gansler, Flad Architects, Strang, Herman Miller, and Steelcase. Others have started their own design firms. Download a PDF listing the Interior Architecture careers our alumni have found 1-3 years post graduation.

Types of Interior Architecture Careers:

Interior Designers
Residential Designers
Commercial Designers
Visual Merchandisers
Store Planners
Project Managers
Graphic Designers
Interior Architect

About Interior Architecture

Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. For more information refer to NCIDQ.

More About Our IA Program

IA sample roomThe undergraduate major in interior architecture is a four-year professional program accredited by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. The program has two phases, which develops students’ creativity in the design and planning of interior spaces by emphasizing the process and communication of design. Students learn to integrate the art of design with the social sciences concerning the interaction of people and their environment, the history of design, and the physical sciences relating to the effects of materials on the physical health and comfort of inhabitants. Insight into professional practice is enhanced through internship experiences.

Course content helps students develop communication skills such as sketching, rendering, computer-aided design, and three-dimensional modeling. Real world projects and design thinking experiences are emphasized in several of the studio courses. In addition, courses in art history, history of interiors, mechanical engineering, and art are required. Dedicated studios, a maker space, a resource library, lighting demonstration areas, and a computer laboratory provide physical support for the interior design curriculum. A portfolio is required before graduation.

Download curriculum checksheets; year entering major 2020-2021 | 2019-2020 | 2018-19 |2017-18 

• Outline course requirements for degree completion
• Students follow the checksheet in place when entering the major
• Designed to use in combination with an individual DARS Report

Certificate in Textiles and Design